December 4, 2020

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Acquisition of porn and gambling customers embarrasses ING

Acquisition of porn and gambling customers embarrasses ING

Photo: MARC HERREMANS – MEDIENHAUS

The largest takeover of ING since the credit crunch has disaffected the Dutch bank. The integrated payment platform Payvision served dubious customers in the porn and gaming industries for years. ING lost almost two hundred million euros on the purchase. The Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad writes this based on its own research.

ING was so upset with its fintech subsidiary that last September the most profitable portfolio, that of the porn clients, was silently transferred to a former owner of Payvision. More than a month earlier, ING had to write off about half of Payvision, which cost the bank € 350 million in 2018.

According to ING, the EUR 188 million write-down on Payvision is related to the corona crisis. Other payment service providers are doing good business due to the corona crisis. The number of online transactions increases enormously under the influence of the locks.

At the time of the acquisition, then CEO Ralph Hamers described fintech as “very strategic”. In the meantime, Payvision had been on the radar of the American money laundering watchdog FinCEN and several American banks for years because it processed suspicious transactions and served customers who could not join the regular banking cycle. This emerged from ten state-secret transaction reports that are part of the FinCEN files in the hands of the journalists’ collective ICIJ.